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Illegitimate Players Comedy Revue

ILLEGITIMATE PLAYERS COMEDY REVUE at the Roxy The glaring extremes of our mass-media culture are standard fare in today’s Chicago comedy clubs: game-show hosts, television preachers, honest politicians. And while the Illegitimate Players certainly offer some of these expected bits, their current revue revolves more around the classics of English literature. “Library” suggests an eerie […]

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Strange Fruit

STRANGE FRUIT ETA Creative Arts Foundation A fiction-writing teacher of mine, whenever she encountered a particularly involved explanation, would scream about distracting readers from the plot and boring them with details that they could have figured out on their own. Thirty minutes into Strange Fruit, a new play about jazz singer Billie Holiday, I began […]

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Reflections; Hopscotch

REFLECTIONS and HOPSCOTCH Penguin Island Theatre at Stage Left Theatre For seven months I thought I lived in Uptown. Then one evening about a month ago, I arrived home to find men in a utility truck affixing maroon banners to the streetlights. The banners announced that I was now living in “Buena Park: An Historic […]

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Watershed

WATERSHED Playwrights’ Center Writing classes often emphasize exercises that are designed solely to encourage writing. Teachers will tell students not to worry about quality, just write it down. The beginning writer concentrates on writing, ultimately learning to discriminate between that which tells a provocative story and that which bores itself to sleep. Within this framework, […]

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Hang Tough

HANG TOUGH ETA Creative Arts Foundation Judge Douglas Ginsburg may yet prove to be a historic figure of our era. You remember Ginsburg, the conservative, law-and-order Supreme Court nominee who withdrew his nomination after reports surfaced that he had smoked marijuana. There was no communist conspiracy here. And certainly no coercion. The man apparently smoked […]

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The Dining Room

THE DINING ROOM Zebra Crossing Theatre What I remember from childhood is eating. A healthy preoccupation with consuming food. My family may have had its troubles from time to time, but when we sat down to meals, people ate. Voices were sometimes raised, but food was still passed around and swallowed with a passion, if […]

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Macbett

MACBETT Live Theatre The presidential campaign season is upon us, and with it, questions about the true character and intentions of our national leaders. More than ever, our candidates for office are obsessed with proving their personal integrity rather than their capacity to address substantive issues. In this light, the season calls less for merrymaking […]

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Dream Variation

DREAM VARIATION Kuumba Theatre at Malcolm X College Theatre There’s no place like home. –Dorothy Gale, in The Wizard of Oz. Home has long been a powerful symbol in this land of immigrants, an idea that cuts across all racial, ethnic, and class divisions. Home is a fixed notion for a constantly mobile people. Americans […]